Monday, August 13, 2018


This month our book club is reading Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard.  This book tells the story of the Boer War, Winston Churchill's capture and escape, and Churchill's development in his early years.

If you enjoy Candice Millard's writing style, you may want to check out one of her other books:

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

If you want to read more about Winston Churchill, then give one of these books a try:

The Last Lion by William Manchester (3 volumes)
Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet by Jonathan Schneer
Winston and Clementine: the Personal Letters of the Churchills by Winston Churchill & Clementine Churchill
Franklin and Winston: an Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham
Churchill: a Biography by Roy Jenkins

Or, check out one of these movies!
The Darkest Hour

Picture from

Monday, August 6, 2018


This week we are taking a look at Avi.  Avi is a prolific children's and young adult author.  He has won the Newbery Award, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award, Christopher Award, Anne Zarow Award, and Boston Public Library Literary Light.  

Avi has written over 50 books in his career, and we are not including all of them in this blog post.  The books listed below are some of his most recent work along with his award winning and award nominated works.

For more information on Avi and his work, visit his website:

Crispin: the Cross of Lead - This is the first book in the Crispin series and a Newbery Award winner.  The first book introduces you to an orphaned peasant boy in 14th century England.  He is falsely accused of theft and murder.  As he flees his village, he meets a juggler who holds a dangerous secret.  

Poppy - This is the story of a mouse named Poppy.  She wants her family to move next to a large field of corn that will be big enough to feed them for years.  However, Mr. Ocax, the owl, has other ideas.

Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution - The year is 1776, and Sophia Calderwood has just witnessed the execution of Nathan Hale, ordered by the British army.  She is horrified by the event and decides to do what she can to help the Americans.  She is eventually recruited as a spy and learns that someone in the American army might be switching sides.  

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - The only female, and only passenger, on a transatlantic flight, Charlotte finds herself caught between a murderous captain and a mutinous crew.

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts - An adventure story full of highwaymen, pickpockets, and criminal masterminds, this novel takes place in England in the 1720s.  Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes up to find his father missing and his home flooded by a storm.  As Oliver sets off to follow the trail of his father, he encounters thieves, adventurers, and treachery.

Nothing but the Truth: A Documentary Novel - Philip Malloy can't join the school's track team due to his poor grades in English class.  He is convinced that the teacher just doesn't like him, so Philip decides to try and get transferred out of her class.  He breaks the school's policy of silence during the national anthem by singing along and ends up as part of a national news story.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Picture Books about the Immigrant Experience

Here's a list of books for children that share insights on the experience of leaving one's home country and moving to another one as an immigrant, migrant, or refugee. Children may find themselves and their family's experience reflected in these stories. Or they may find them as an entry point for empathizing with others who have lived these experiences.

Picture Books

We Came to America by Faith Ringgold

A short, but substantial picture book celebrating the diversity of groups that have come to America throughout history.

Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

This book is told from the perspective of a young girl as she travels north to the United States with her father. She counts the things she sees as she travels on foot and on top of a train she calls "the Beast".

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting

On a school trip to an apple orchard Farah, a young immigrant, gains confidence in her new community when the green apple she selects for the cider her class is making turns out to be the perfect ingredient.

Marwan's Journey by Patricia de Arias

This book was originally published in Spanish as El camino de Marwan by Amanuta in 2016 in Chile. It tells the story of a young boy fleeing his war-torn home in search of safety.

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Rashin is an Iranian immigrant child living in New York City. On her first trip to Coney Island she notices all the differences between her new home and her native Iran where she used to enjoy saffron flavored ice cream on the beach.

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

This 2018 Caldecott Honor Book and 2018 Charlotte Zolotow Award winner is a quietly powerful story of a father and son. While fishing together in the early mornings before his full workday at a small pond in Minneapolis, the father tells his son about a different pond in his homeland of Vietnam.

From Far Away by Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar

This book tells the author's story of adjusting to her new home in Canada after immigrating from war-torn Lebanon at age 7.

The Journey by Francesca Sanna

The author was inspired to write this story after meeting families in a refugee camp in Italy. In this beautiful book a mother and her two children set out on a journey for a new, peaceful home.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Fairy Stories for Kids

It's fairy and toad house week at the library! All week long kids can stop by the Children's Room to make a fairy or toad house out of natural materials and craft supplies.

If you plan to build a fairy house, then why not read a fairy story too! Here are a few suggestions for you.

Picture Books

A Fairy Friend by Sue Fliess
Alice the Fairy by David Shannon
Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl
Fairies by Fiona Watt
Where Fairies Dance by Micheal Hague
Laura Ingalls Wilder's Fairy Poems by Laura Ingalls Widler
Good Night Fairies by Adam Gamble

Independent readers might enjoy the Rainbow Magic Fairies series by Daisy Meadows or The Wish Fairy series by Lisa Anne Scott

If you still want more fun after building your fairy and toad house, you could build a garden to put it in. Get some ideas Super Simple Fairy: A Kid's Guide to Gardening by Alex Kuskowski.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Recipes for Summer Fun!

We have been having so much fun at the library lately! Every summer we host lots of events for kids and teens. We try to make them fun, social, and educational. We love programs that pique a kid's curiosity in new subjects or put a new spin on familiar ones. The best programs are ones that prompt kids to ask lots of questions - then we can encourage them to check out a book to find out more! We hope we are inspiring future artists, engineers, writers, scientists and more!

Here at EFPL we aim to provide high quality services for kids, so we are always researching and learning about child development and education. Here's a list of some of the books and websites we find inspiring for working with children. You'll find great ideas you can do at home and recipes for many of the hands on activities we've done here at the library.


Art Workshops for Children by Hervé Tullet

This book inspired our Music & Paint event this year and some of our artful events in previous summers. There are a lot of fun art games and projects in here with step by step instructions for leading a group through them. While many of these activities work well for the large groups we get at the library, they could also be scaled down to do with a smaller group of children. Tullet is also the author of many wonderful picture books for kids.

The Artful Parent and The Artful Year by Jean Van't Hul

These books are loaded with ways to bring art into your family life. Jean Van't Hul also has a wonderful website and blog that is full of ideas and instructions. This is where the inspiration for this summer's wooden sculptures program came from.

Geology Lab for Kids : 52 Projects to Explore Rocks, Gems, Geodes, Crystals, Fossils, and Other Wonders of the Earth's Surface by Garret Romaine

Our theme is summer is "Libraries Rock" and while a lot of our activities have been centered on music this summer, we also partnered up with the Evansville Community School District Environmental Education Nature Center to offer a series of programs about physical rocks. This book has a lot of great hands on science activities for kids.
Tinkerlab: A Hands on Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley

This book has a lot of great creative building and maker projects. Our paper houses workshop this summer was inspired by an activity in this book.


The last resource to recommend is your kids! We try to plan activities that kids will find exciting and engaging, so we love hearing from them about what they are interested in!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Music & Movement Book List & Play List

This summer we introduced a new storytime called Music & Movement. This fun-filled time invites kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers to move, groove, swing and sway as we share a few stories and lots of music! It's part storytime and part dance party! You can join the fun on Friday mornings at 10:00 until August 17.

Here are some of the books we've shared at storytime to encourage active play through music, rhythm, and rhyme.

Music Is by Brandon Stosuy
Music Class Today by David Weinstone
Play with Me! by Michelle Lee
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera
Stretch by Doreen Cronin
We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner
Giraffe's Can't Dance by Andreae Giles

Here are some of the artists we've shared at Music & Movement so far this summer.

Old Town School of Folk Music
Caspar Babypants
The Laurie Berkner Band
Hot Peas & Butter
Ella Jenkins
Alison Faith Levy
Joanie Leeds
Miss Nina

Monday, July 2, 2018

If you liked our Book Buddies reads, then try these!

This summer, we are reading some fantastic books at our Book Buddies program - a book club for kids in grades K-3. If you've enjoyed the books we selected, then try these read-alikes!

If you liked The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Adam Rex, then try Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales. Both stories are full of hilarious antics and epic battles.

If you liked Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima, then try Red: A Crayon's Story by Micheal Hall. Both books are heartwarming tales of individuality and not quite fitting in. Red (a crayon) and Kelp (a narhwal) learn how to stay true to themselves and be accepting for who they really are.

If you liked The Mermaid by Jan Brett because of the twist on the classic Three Little Bears story, then try Mo Willems' Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Mo Willems tells his story with humor and whimsy. If you loved the beautiful underwater world in The Mermaid, then try Swimmy by Leo Lionni. This beautiful book was a Caldecott Honor winner in 1964.

If you liked Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall, then try Can I Tell You a Secret? by Anna Kang. In both stories, a young child (or frog) face their fears and have a blast swimming.

If you liked the Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series by Dav Pilkey, then try the Frannie K. Stein, Mad Scientist series by Jim Benton. Both beginner chapter book series feature smart kids battling other worldly enemies with fun, science fiction twists and turns along the way.

If you liked The Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, then try Firebird by Misty Copeland. Both of these brightly illustrated books feature real, fearless and inspiring female artists.

If you liked Jasmine Toguchi: Drummer Girl by Debbie Michiko Florence, then try Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke. Both beginner chapter book series feature young girls living with their loving and sometimes zany families, grounded in their cultural heritage - for Jasmine, her family's Japanese-American culture and Anna with her family's Nigerian and Canadian cultures.

If you liked Chirri and Chirra by Kaya Doi, then try The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Explore the tiny worlds beautifully constructed in both series.